A serious girl, when she finds someone who calms her spirit and quiets her busy thoughts, will love you so fiercely, it will defy even her own logic and reasoning.
The Last Picture Show (1971)
A few years ago when I walked the hallways of a high school with my five-year-old niece Evie, she remarked, without prompting: “There’s the principal’s office: you only go there if you are in trouble.” As an educator and an aunt, I wondered how the office of an educational professional had come to be symbolized in such a decisive way in the mind of a child, particularly a child who had yet to enter formal schooling. As I scanned popular representations of the school principal, I found that Evie’s impression was hardly unusual. Across popular and professional cultures, the figure of the school principal is commonly reduced to a small, often disagreeable functionary of bad news, the wet blanket of progressive teacher practice, the prison guard of students’ freedom. As I asked friends and colleagues about their impressions of school principals, few actually knew what principals did, and many people confused the role of school building principal with school district superintendent. Most remarkably, those very people who did not understand what a principal did were often the first to argue for the abolition of the role.
In American public schools, the principal is the most complex and contradictory figure in the pantheon of educational leadership. The principal is both the administrative director of state educational policy and a building manager, both an advocate for school change and the protector of bureaucratic stability. Authorized to be employer, supervisor, professional figurehead, and inspirational leader, the principal’s core training and identity is as a classroom teacher. A single person, in a single professional role, acts on a daily basis as the connecting link between a large bureaucratic system and the individual daily experiences of a large number of children and adults. Most contradictory of all, the principal has always been responsible for student learning, even as the position has become increasingly disconnected from the classroom.
Read more. [Image: ecastro/Flickr]
Shantell Martin, an artist known for her stream-of-consciousness drawings, moved to New York from Tokyo five years ago. She draws on people, on airplanes, and on clothing. Here, she discusses her craft and the phrase that guides her daily life: follow the pen: http://nyr.kr/1biZD7j
so long botswana! (by kooop)
Comparison is an act of violence against the self.
I wasn’t able to see Short Term 12 before its limited release to theaters over the past two weeks. Typically, in such situations I just move on: If I miss commenting on a good movie (or a memorably terrible one), well, those are the breaks. There are plenty of excellent critics out there to make up for the omission. But there are occasions when some comment—however brief and belated—is preferable to none at all, and this is one of them.
Short Term 12 is nothing short of extraordinary, a compact masterpiece of storytelling that brims equally with ambition and humility. It is, by a wide margin, the best film I have seen so far this year, and I will consider myself lucky if I see another as good.
The movie, which won the audience and grand jury prizes at South by Southwest, is the second feature by Destin Daniel Cretton, an expansion of the 22-minute short of the same name that he produced in 2008. Drawing on Cretton’s own post-collegiate experience working at a facility for at-risk teens, the film tells the story of Grace (Brie Larson), a woman in her mid-twenties juggling the overlapping roles of mentor, warden, surrogate parent, and friend to the kids in her charge. She is also, by inches, coming to terms with the demons in her own past, and what they may mean for her future.
Read more. [Image: Animal Kingdom Films]